It’s just similar with winning somebody’s heart, to win your customers, you must get them impressive at the first sight. Particularly in the hospitality industry, first impression is very important. Staff at the Front Office (FO) Department will play significant role to make the guest imposed. Whether receptionist, bell desk, porter, or pick up driver, he or she must be careful even when the first time they greet the guest.
Remember, if a guest is already happy with our treatment when they meet our staff during the airport pickup, or during check in process, I am sure the guest will have good comments on the rest of our services and facilities, even though, he finally experience some unpleasant services, perhaps in one of the restaurants. The guest will easily forget it. The guest will say, ”It’s ok, the receptionist is friendly, they are nice.”
But when the guest has already experienced distasteful treatment for example during check in, or he complains about hotel’s driver who is unfriendly, or he met an unhelpful staff at the airport, I am sure the guest will have bad judgment for the rest of his/her stay. Although later on, we deliver excellent service at the restaurant or we give him special service when ordering some snacks at the pool bar. He will not easily appreciate it, because he is already upset at the beginning. What is in his/her mind is just negative thinking, and that’s normal.
One thing is important. Generally, a complaint about bad service is more difficult to handle compared with a complaint about bad facilities. For example, if one guest complains about not cooling AC in the room, it is easy to solve. Just call the engineering staff and fix it or if need to replace with new AC, recommend the guest to move to another room while the staff is repairing the AC. Express an apology and that’s it, finish.
But there will be a big story if we do not take care the guest’s request, if we delay the job, or if we serve them without pride. What the guest needs actually only “there must be somebody assist him and deliver his request immediately”. If we do not show our “good will”, that we really care about him, that we want to help him, the guest will simply think that we just ignore him. Then the story will be more complicated and the case will be difficult to solve, although we offer him a free room night.
It means, complaint about attitude is considerably hard to handle rather than problem with malfunction on facility (let say a window which doesn’t work properly). I don’t say that there will be no big deal when there is something wrong with coffee machine, but we can repair it immediately. Surely, it is a big problem if there is a guest complains about attitude of one of our staffs. Believe me.